End of an era
Time is funny. There seems to be so much of it when you're younger and so little of it as you age. Those lazy days of summer last forever when you're a kid playing baseball, but they're like a whirling helicopter blade when you're moving on to the next phase of your life - like I am now.
Yesterday, on July 28, I worked my last auction with my dad at one of those fun, fast-paced estate auctions in Durant, Iowa. Truth be told, it wasn't much different than when I first started working with dad - and grandfather - shortly out of auction school in 1985. We sold hundreds of lots yesterday with the same zeal and passion as we did then - and like I'm sure dad did with his dad before me.
I'm the fourth generation of the Wingerts in the auction business, after great-grandfather Ralph, grandfather Wally and dad Ron. And while Dad might continue to sell with someone else near his hometown of Tipton, Iowa, I'm gone very soon to Camdenton, Missouri, with my fiancee Dawn. (The photo accompanying this blog entry is of dad and I before our last auction together in Durant, Iowa - he's 79, I'm 57).
It's been a fun ride, that's for sure. I fondly remember dad and I selling out my grandfather's farm on my mother's side near West Branch, Iowa, in 1998 just days after the birth of my first son. Some of the first auctions I worked were during the farm crisis in the 1980s when I saw firsthand what tough times were like for people in that business. What one comes to understand in short order is that everyone's auction is important and you better be ready to roll each time out.
I've never been a full-time auctioneer, but I've always embraced the concepts of the business that most certainly led me to form my advertising site midwestauction.com in 1998. No doubt, I'm going to miss the live auctions with dad and all those familiar faces in the crowd. I hope dad keeps his nose in the game in Iowa, and maybe I'll find another niche in the business in Missouri. Who knows - time is funny.